Younès Messaddeq

Younès Messaddeq

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Photonic Innovations

Université Laval

“With the arrival of Younès Messadeq, the Université Laval and the Centre d’optique photonique et laser are placing themselves at the forefront of optics and photonics research.”

― Denis Brière, Recteur, Université Laval


Younès Messaddeq, who holds a PhD in chemistry and a bachelor’s degree in solid state chemistry from the Université de Rennes 1, France, is one of the world’s most accomplished researchers in materials development for optics and photonics. He has numerous publications to his credit in leading international journals, such as the Journal of Chemical Physics, the Journal of Material Chemistry, the Journal of Non‑Crystalline Solids, and Applied Physics Letters.

In addition to his academic research, Messaddeq has participated in several industrial research development initiatives with prestigious companies such as Ericsson in Sweden, Verrillon in the United States, and Saint‑Gobain in France. He is also involved in several co‑operative programs with international research groups in France, Germany and the US.

Prior to his position as Canada Excellence Research Chair in Photonic Innovations at Université Laval, Messaddeq headed the research program at the Institute of Chemistry, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil. He has been a visiting professor at the Physics Institute of São Carlos, Brazil; the Université de Bourgogne, France; and the University of Münster, Germany. He has also served as a visiting researcher and fellow at the National Institute for Inorganic Materials in Tsukuba, Japan.

Defining the Future of Fibre Optics

From Galileo’s telescope to Newton’s prism, glass has played a central role in the biggest scientific and technological developments over the centuries. In the mid‑1960s, Charles Kao, who went on to win the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physics for his research into light transmission, predicted that optical fibre would one day replace copper cable as the backbone for high‑bandwidth communications.

Future innovations to glass or plastic fibres are certain to enhance and accelerate the transfer of information; improve the precision of medical instruments that perform advanced, minimally invasive imaging, diagnostics and surgery; and increase the sensitivity and accuracy of remote sensing technologies that probe for crucial information under various environmental conditions.

In his Université Laval laboratory, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Photonic Innovations Younès Messaddeq and his team are doing research on glass and optical fibres that will have immediate industrial applications in areas such as the biomedical field, national security and defence.

Messaddeq is also collaborating with his colleagues at Laval’s Centre d’optique, photonique et laser to develop of new fibre lasers for conventional and aesthetic dentistry. With his industry partners, he is helping advancing work on special fibre sensors based on infrared materials—an area of considerable interest to the environment and petroleum industries. His work with the Institut national d’optique will also lead to new technologies for monitoring nutrients in agriculture.

Messaddeq’s work at Laval is making a lasting contribution to future generations of scientists and has spurred the creation of Canada’s first institute for research and training in glass materials.



Release date

October 11, 2011

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My name is Younès Messaddeq. I hold the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Enabling Photonic Innovations for Information and Communication. The first goal of my research is to set up Canada’s first laboratory for research on glass materials. Once we have done so, we will start exploring new materials for information and communication. Third, we will provide people with advanced training in the field of glass materials.

The proudest achievement of my entire 20‑year career is having established a very large, international research laboratory in Brazil. There are currently more than 45 researchers in my research group, and we are receiving industrial contracts from major companies in countries such as France, Canada and the United States. We are also providing training to people currently working in Brazil.

My reason for choosing Canada, and specifically Quebec and Université Laval, to carry out this research is, first and foremost, Canada’s international reputation. Secondly, Quebec, and especially Université Laval, are very well known for Laval’s Centre for Optics, Photonics and Lasers, and Quebec’s National Optics Institute. These two things were fundamental for choosing a place to work and also, I hope, to explore new research in this domain.

Our dream is to establish, at the Université Laval, Canada’s first glass-research institute. Secondly, to train researchers in this field for Canada. And, thirdly, for our research to yield benefits in all areas—the environment, agriculture, medicine, and, of course, photonics and communication.